Proxy fight indeed, as between 50-75 units of affordable housing are slated to be built at Hayes Valley’s outdoor event and retail space PROXY, but now neighbors are fighting to retain the parcel as open space.

The very popular Hayes Valley outdoor "cargo-tecture" complex PROXY was supposed to be a temporary, three-year project. But its lifespan been extended several times, much to the delight of fans of Biergarten and the park's annual outdoor movie night series.

Still, the 11,000 square-foot, city-owned lot technically known as Parcel K was always supposed to be developed as affordable housing, and PROXY still remains on a month-to-month lease.

Mayor Breed’s office is now pushing to get that PROXY parcel developed into 50-75 units of affordable housing. But the Chronicle reports that neighbors are stepping up to oppose the affordable housing project, saying the parcel should remain open space for the neighborhood's use.

San Francisco voters approved that housing with Proposition I way back in 1999, but in true SF fashion, it still hasn’t been built. The proposed housing has been redrawn in a few different versions since, but according to the Chronicle, the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development  recently issued a request for proposals for the project to find a non-profit developer to build 50-75 units, all of them affordable. Though that department’s spokesperson Anne Stanley tells the Chronicle that “there is still additional planning and analysis that needs to happen before we can finalize our plans and proceed with procuring a development team for any future housing project at Parcel K.”

The debate has flipped the script of the usual SF progressives-versus-moderates housing fights. Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association president Jen Laska is leading the charge against the housing project at the site, and Laska is formerly an executive of the tech-funded PAC GrowSF, whose website says “San Francisco has a housing shortage. Restricting supply only drives prices higher while driving young families away.” (Per her LinkedIn, she left that position in December.) Meanwhile, the district's supervisor Dean Preston, often dinged by GrowSF for his votes on housing, is pushing to build the project.

“That is a piece of valuable, critical open space of Hayes Valley,” the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association’s Laska told the Chronicle. “If we take that away, we are not going to get it back.” She also argues the city could explore other sites for the housing.

Parenthetically, Laska was in the news last week over her association’s raising concerns about encampment fires two months before last Tuesday’s four-alarm fire at a building under construction. The cause of that fire is still undetermined.

For his part, Preston is determined the housing project should be built at what we now call PROXY. “I recognize there are strong feelings about the future of the Parcel K site in Hayes Valley, and it’s a testament to the success of the interim use that many in the community want to preserve it,” he told the Chron. “But this site was promised for affordable housing more than 20 years ago, and I’m committed to delivering affordable housing there. We need places to live for working-class people and their families, and that means taking advantage of every opportunity, particularly on city-owned property.”

There are not even plans on paper yet for the affordable housing project, so it’s not like PROXY is getting torn down anytime soon. And while the space is still on a month-to-month lease, the website for its architecture firm Envelope currently says that “PROXY now will remain a neighborhood presence through 2026.”

Related: Four-Alarm Fire In Hayes Valley Destroys New Building Under Construction, Displaces Eight In Nearby Buildings [SFist]

Image: Proxy SF via Facebook